The Stages of Writing

What should my child’s writing look like as they enter Kindergarten?

Whatever your child’s writing looks like when she arrives on the first day is perfectly fine! Whether your child is just drawing pictures or is writing words or sentences, she is using writing to share something. Kindergarten will bring about a wonderful transition in your child’s drawings and writings. It will be an exciting year to see the growth in this area. With daily opportunities to write, Kindergarten students move through various stages of writing. In class students work on making connections between the illustration and the text. The teacher models for the class appropriate writing habits and then encourages the students to incorporate those techniques when working in their journals. Below are examples of the stages your child may go through this year as she develops into an independent writer!

Drawings and Pictures–  Children in this stage tell a story with pictures rather than letters or words.

Scribbling–  Children demostrate that they understand the written word can tell a story by imitating writing in the form of scribbles.  

Random Letters–  Children in this stage of writing string random letters together.  They are again imitating writing but go a step beyond scribbles.  In this stage you will often see the letters of your child’s name or letters they are very familiar with repeated throughout their writing.

Semi-Phonetic–  Children have now connected that letters make sounds and words, words make sentences and sentences tell a story.  Often in this stage they will only identify the beginning sound of a word.

Phonetic- Children now are more actively using letter sounds to help them write.  They are likely writing the beginning and the ending sounds of words and probably including sight words

Transitional Spelling–  Children are now writing the word the way they hear it.  Their writing will likely have spaces and punctuation which may or may not be used correctly.  With a little work and imagination you should be able to read their writing at this stage. 

Conventional Spelling–  Common words and short words are spelled correctly.  Long or unfamiliar words may still be spelled phonetically.  Punctuation and spacing are used correctly.

For pictures and more detail, visit Linda’s Learning Links.

Now That I Know, What Can I Do?

Encourage your child where she is. If she is drawing pictures only or is using strings of letters, then have her “read” her writing to you and ask if you can add the words below her writing or on a post-it. As she begins writing the sounds she hears, help her stretch out the words slowly to record each letter. Don’t be upset if she isn’t hearing every sound in the beginning. It takes time and practice. Through the year, your child will continue to develop in her writing. Celebrate each stage of your child’s ability!


1 Comment

Filed under 5 Year Olds, Questions

One response to “The Stages of Writing

  1. Pingback: Easy Ways to Make Writing Fun! « Busy Moms + Smart Kids Blog

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